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back +‎ slash, because it is a slash going back against the direction of writing, in contrast to the common slash / (slash, solidus, oblique, forward slash).



backslash (plural backslashes)

  1. The punctuation mark \.
  2. (computing, rare, proscribed) Used erroneously in reference to, or in reading out, the ordinary slash, that is, the punctuation mark /.
    • 2001, James T. Bretzke, Bibliography on East Asian Religion and Philosophy, Edwin Mellen Press, ISBN 0-7734-7318-1, page 455:
      [] I was trying to find a web-site for which I had been given the following address: [] I began to work backwards, removing first the last part of the address following the last backslash (/korjournal.htm).
    • 2010, Lee Vance, The Garden of Betrayal, Random House (2011), ISBN 978-0-307-39035-6, page 25:
      “So, do what I tell you. Open a browser window and type this in the menu[sic] bar: F-T-P colon backslash backslash euronews dot net backslash...”
      I pecked carefully at the keyboard as he dictated a URL that was about fifty characters long, []
    • 2010, Frank Barnas and Ted White, Broadcast News Writing, Reporting, and Producing, Fifth Edition, Elsevier, ISBN 0080953972, page 114:
      Also, avoid submenus[sic] that can confuse the audience—if you're giving lengthy Web site addresses full of backslashes, shorten it so only the Web site's home page is given.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Sometimes used to indicate the beginning and ending of an area of words being marked for correction.


Coordinate terms[edit]



backslash (third-person singular simple present backslashes, present participle backslashing, simple past and past participle backslashed)

  1. (computing, transitive) To escape (a metacharacter) by prepending a backslash that serves as an escape character, thereby forming an escape sequence.

See also[edit]




From English backslash.



backslash m (plural backslashes or backslashen, diminutive backslashje n)

  1. backslash